Our previous EXPLORER column (September)
stated that the Division of Environmental Geosciences (DEG) now
stands poised at a critical crossroads in its history.
The article summarized the excitement surrounding the DEG, the
new look and content of Environmental Geosciences (EG) and, in particular,
the vital role that environmental issues play in all aspects of
the petroleum and energy minerals industry.
We reminded you that DEG's mission to AAPG was to aid, educate,
communicate, promote and showcase environmental issues for our members.
In this light, and with the ever-increasing importance of environmental
issues in our industry, the question was asked, "Why is DEG membership
In this column I'd like to briefly focus on how AAPG/DEG members
and their companies can benefit from and utilize DEG to showcase
the multitude of environmental success stories they spend so much
time, money and effort striving so diligently to achieve.
Unfortunately, very few AAPG member companies utilize the DEG
and this awesome journal as a platform for showcasing the "green"
side of our industry.
As a former environmental geologist for a major petroleum company,
and now as an environmental consultant to Fortune 500 companies,
I know that some managers and lawyers may get nervous about what
might be perceived as "airing dirty laundry" when it comes to publicizing
environmental compliance. However, it is important to realize that
the majority of any company's portfolio of environmental projects
is fully disclosable public information, having been submitted and
filed with any number of different regulatory agencies or commissions.
Both onshore and offshore, from seismic acquisition to well permitting,
from drilling to abandonment, from mine development planning to
land reclamation, from exploration to production, from refining
to transport, from historical operations to yesterday's accidental
release, from waste reduction to prevention, AAPG member companies
expend considerable effort and capital complying with environmental
regulations and requirements. Even though environmental compliance
is foundational to a successful energy and minerals industry, most
environmental professionals labor in relative obscurity, quietly
paving the way for the core business ventures they support. Only
rarely are environmental issues publicized — and most such cases
are negatively portrayed.
So why not publicize all the myriad successes we as an industry,
we as a company and/or we as environmental professionals achieve
in the environmental arena?
Indeed, EG is a respected and highly effective mechanism by which
to receive positive press and due credit for all of the time, money
and effort you and your company spends protecting the environment
and meeting regulatory requirements.
The individual environmental professional, the company and the
energy industry all benefit from these types of positive stories!
Take credit where credit is due!
I'd like to invite you to submit your company's environmental success
stories for publication and for technical session presentation at
sectional, annual and international meetings. Manuscripts may be
submitted online at http://deg.aapg.org/journal.cfm. Let's make
the EG journal and DEG technical sessions the default communication
platforms for all AAPG member companies to showcase their environmental
I personally encourage and challenge each of you to actively promote
and champion DEG membership and support within your company and
amongst your professional colleagues and peers — talk to your friends,
co-workers, supervisors and managers!
It is plain to see that the livelihood of every single member
of AAPG is affected either directly or indirectly by environmental
issues related to the industry in which we work. Therefore, it is
in every AAPG member's best interest to actively support DEG's mission.
From independents to majors, from students to professors, from
consultants to regulators — we all win by showcasing, communicating
and sharing our collective knowledge and environmental success stories.
DEG is for everyone in AAPG! Come GROW with us!